Unit Details

USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7)

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USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7)


Career
Laid down: 31 July 1943
Launched: 27 September 1943
Commissioned: 1 May 1944
Decommissioned: March 26,1970
Struck: 30 July 1976
Fate: Sold for scrap in 1979


General characteristics
Displacement: 12,550 tons
Length: 459 ft 2 in (139.95 m)
Beam: 63 ft (19 m)
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Speed: 15 knots (31 km/h)
Complement: 664
Armament: 1 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal. gun
8 × 40mm guns (4×2)


USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7/LCC-7) was the lead ship of the Mount McKinley-class of amphibious force command ships. She was named after the highest mountain in North America. She was designed as an amphibious force flagship, a floating command post with advanced communications equipment and extensive combat information spaces to be used by the amphibious forces commander and landing force commander during large-scale operations.



Launch and commissioning


Mount McKinley (AGC 7), was laid down as Cyclone, a transport, on 31 July 1943 by North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, Wilmington, North Carolina; launched on 27 September, sponsored by Mrs. T. L. Lainer; renamed Mount McKinley on 27 December 1943; and commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 1 May 1944, with Captain Roy W. M. Graham in command.


World War II


After a brief shakedown cruise, she departed Norfolk 8 June 1944 for Hawaii, arriving at Pearl Harbor on 27 June. The new AGC got underway on 20 July, for Palau with Amphibious Group 5 embarked.
The assault force arrived off Peleliu 15 September, with ComPhibGru 5 directing the landing of the 1st Marine Division. On 28 September, AGC-7 proceeded to nearby Ngesebus Island to provide shore bombardment coordination.


Mount McKinley left the area 14 October after Peleliu and the other main islands of the chain were secure. After a stop at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, the ship sailed to San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, for the assault on Leyte and Ormoc. While in San Pedro Bay, the force was under constant air attack, but the AGC was not hit. On 15 December the ship participated in the invasion of Mindoro and proceeded to Lingayen Gulf to direct shore bombardment on 9 January.


After directing an unopposed landing at San Narciso, near Subic Bay, the command ship returned to Leyte Gulf.


On 21 March 1945, Mount McKinley proceeded to Kerama Retto off the southern coast of Okinawa. Six days prior to the last major assault of the war, AGC-7 directed the landing of the 77th Infantry Division. For the next two months, the ship remained at anchorage at Kerama Retto, threatened by constant air attacks. On 22 May, she sailed for Saipan, thence to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco, arriving in CONUS 23 June.


Postwar


In overhaul for two months, she deployed 20 August. Arriving Sasebo 23 September, she participated in landing occupation troops there and at Kure. Returning to the United States 12 February 1946, she sailed in the early summer for Bikini Atoll where she was flagship for Operation Crossroads. Admiral William H. P. Blandy, commanded Joint Task Force 1 during the atomic tests, his flag on the Mount McKinley. Following the atomic bomb test in July, the ship operated out of San Diego for the next 18 months.


In early 1948, she was the command ship for the atomic bomb test at Eniwetok. Upon completion of these tests, she returned to San Diego to resume coastal operations.


Korean War


MacArthur observes the naval shelling of Incheon from Mount McKinley, September 15, 1950 with Brigadier General Courtney Whitney (left) and Major General Edward M. Almond (right).


On 20 May 1950, Mount McKinley was underway for WesPac to conduct training operations with the 8th Army. On 26 June, the ship proceeded from Japan to direct the landing of American reinforcements at Po Han at the beginning of the Korean War. In early September 1950, General Douglas MacArthur was on board, directing the amphibious assault at Inch'ŏn which forced the Communists to retreat north. The next assault was against the heavily mined port of Wŏnsan.


When communist Chinese troops entered the war, and American troops were pushed back to the Hungman beachhead, Mount McKinley assisted in the evacuation. In late January 1951, she assisted in the transfer of thousands of Korean refugees to Cheja Island.


On 7 June 1951, Mount McKinley sailed from Yokosuka and entered Mare Island Naval Shipyard 3 August for an extensive overhaul. Mount McKinley departed for WesPac, 6 March 1952, returning to the States 30 January 1953. While in Mare Island Naval Shipyard, a helicopter deck was installed on the fantail.


AGC 7 sailed again, 27 October 1953, for her third tour of duty in the Korean War area, arriving Yokosuka 16 November. From then until her departure for the States 30 July 1954, she was involved in fleet and amphibious exercises off Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. After arrival in San Diego 18 August, the remainder of the year was spent in local operations and a month long training exercise off Hawaii in October.


In the spring of 1955, Mount McKinley served as flagship for Operation Wigwam, an underwater atomic bomb test in the central Pacific. After a yard overhaul in the summer of 1955, the amphibious flagship returned to WestPac in January 1956 for a 3 month period. In April, she was press observer ship for further nuclear tests.


Atlantic and Mediterranean service


On 3 June, the ship returned to San Diego and was detached from the Pacific Fleet 1 September. She arrived Norfolk 20 September via the Panama Canal.


The following January 9, AGC-7 deployed to the Mediterranean. While in the eastern Mediterranean, the ship rescued the crew of a burning Greek fishing vessel, extinguished the fire, and towed the damaged vessel into Port. After conducting NATO and fleet exercises in the Mediterranean, she returned to Norfolk 19 June. September and early October were spent in Operation Strikeback and other NATO exercises in the eastern Atlantic. Mount McKinlay was anchored in Portsmouth Navy Yard to provide command and control for parts of the 'Orange' opposition naval forces during Operation Strikeback.


In January 1958, Mount McKinley deployed to 6th Meet, operating with the Amphibious Ready Group in NATO and U.S. exercises. Due to return to the States in June, the ship's departure was delayed due to increasing tensions in the Middle East. The ship served as an afloat headquarters for the Marine force landed in Lebanon during the crisis of July 1958. She returned to Norfolk 16 August.


Mount McKinley's third Mediterranean cruise from 20 February to 26 August 1959 was marked by seven amphibious exercises involving U.S. and NATO forces.


In February 1960, the ship sailed to Valparaíso, Chile, via the Panama Canal to provide communications support for President Eisenhower's good will visit to Latin America. On 19 April, the AGC deployed to 6th Fleet, returning to Norfolk 7 December. Upon completion of her yard period in the summer of 1961, Mount McKinley made her fifth deployment to the Mediterranean from September to February 1962, acting as flagship for several large scale amphibious exercises.


In October, during the Cuban missile crisis, Mount McKinley served at flagship for ComPhibLant and ComPhIbGru 4. Following the Cuban quarantine, she sailed for the Mediterranean 10 January 1963 to act as command flagship for the Amphibious Strike Force. Arriving back in Norfolk 2 August 1963, she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a FRAM II overhaul, extending from September to January 1964.


After refresher training and exercise "Quick Kick V", AGC 7 departed Norfolk 10 May, arriving San Diego 26 May via Panama Canal. Immediately after the Tonkin Gulf Incident, she was ordered to Southeast Asia.


Pacific theater


She sailed from San Diego 25 August, arriving Luzon 16 September. She relieved Eldorado at Subic Bay a week later, becoming flagship of the 7th Fleet, Amphibious Strike Force. Taking station in the South China Sea, with other elements of Amphibious Group 1, AGC 7 stood prepared for any contingency.


While proceeding to Bangkok, Mount McKinley came to assistance of Herkimer, whose master was severely ill. Herkimer's captain was taken on board for further treatment in Singapore while the MSTS ship sailed on to Saigon. In early March and again in mid April, the flagship coordinated the landing of Marine reinforcements at Da Nang and Huế, Vietnam.


Relieved by Estes at Subic Bay in April, she arrived San Diego 15 May 1965. The command ship sailed again from San Diego on 15 March, arriving at Subic Bay on 17 April via Pearl Harbor. Based there, the ship visited ports in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Okinawa, acting as flagship of ComPhibGru 1.


On 23 August, Mount McKinley sailed for home, arriving 19 September 1966. She sailed on her third WesPac deployment 1 July, arriving Da Nang 28 July to become once more the flagship of Commander, 7th Fleet Amphibious Force. She provided communications support for search and destroy operations against the Vietcong and North Vietnamese regulars. As in earlier deployments, support for military forces was combined with civic action for the benefit of the helpless civilian victims of war.


Relieved in mid-January, AGC-7 sailed east for CONUS and home, arriving San Diego 10 February 1968. The ship's designation was changed from AGC-7 to LCC-7 on 1 January 1969. Following her arrival back in CONUS, she has been engaged in type training and amphibious exercises on the west coast as flagship of ComPhibGru 3 Into 1969.


Awards and decommissioning


Mount McKinley received four battle stars for World War II service, eight stars for Korean service, and a Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation. Command Ship Operation Crossroads Atomic Tests and Amphibious Command Ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mount McKinley was sold for disposal in 1976.

 

 

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USS Mount McKinley (LCC-7)
ex
USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) (1944 - 1969)

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Flag Hoist/International Radio Call Sign:
November - Tango - Xray - CharlieNTXC
  1. Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons
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Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right


Mount McKinley Class Amphibious Force Flagship:
  1. Laid down, 31 July 1943, as Cyclone, a Maritime Commission type (C2-S-AJ1) hull, under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1347) at North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. Wilmington, N.C.
  2. Launched, 27 September 1943
  3. Acquired by the Navy, 27 December 1943
  4. Converted at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA., to an Amphibious Force Command Ship (AGC)
  5. Commissioned, USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7), 1 May 1944, CAPT. W. M. Graham in command.
  6. During World War II USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) participated in the following campaigns: USN_Units Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Western Caroline Islands operation;
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 6 September to 14 October 1944
    Manila Bay - Bicol operations
    Zambales Subic Bay, 29 to 31 January 1945
    Luzon operation;
    Lingayen Gulf landings, 9 January 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 26 March to 22 May 1945
    Leyte operation;
    Ormoc Bay landings, 9 to 29 November 1944

  7. Following World War II USS Mount McKinley was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:
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    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    10 September to 18 November 1945
    8 January to 1 February 1946
    6 to 27 June 1950

  8. During the Korean War USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) participated in the following campaigns: USN_Units Korean War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    North Korean Aggression
    17 to 24 July 1950
    18 September to 2 November 1950
    Communist China Spring Offensive
    29 April to 1 May 1951
    Communist China Aggression
    3 November 1950 to 24 January 1951
    Second Korean Winter
    9 to 13 April 1952
    Inch'ŏn Landing
    13 to 17 September 1950
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    2 to 5 May 1952
    8 to 14 June 1952
    19 June to 23 July 1952
    1 to 2 September 1952
    25 to 30 November 1952
    First UN Counter Offensive
    25 January to 17 March 1951
    Third Korean Winter
    1 to 2 December 1952
    5 to 7 January 1953

  9. During the Vietnam War USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) participated in the following campaigns: USN_Units Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaigns and Dates Campaigns and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    29 to 30 June 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase III
    28 July to 4 August 1967
    17 August to 4 September 1967
    9 September to 12 October 1967
    26 October to 16 November 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    1 to 6 July 1966

  10. Redesignated Amphibious Command Ship (LCC-7) 1 January 1969
  11. Struck from the Naval Register, 26 March 1970
  12. Final Disposition, disposed of by Maritime Administration sale, 22 September 1977, scrapped
  13. USS Mount McKinley earned five battle stars for World War II, eight battle stars for Korean War service and three campaign stars for Vietnam War service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,500 t.(lt), 12,580 t.(fl)
    Length 459' 2"
    Beam 63'
    Draft 24' (lim)
    Speed 16.4 kts (trial)
    Complement
Officers 54
Enlisted 568
Staff Accommodations
Officers103
Enlisted 338

B.Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.

Armament
two single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mounts
four twin 40mm AA gun mounts
ten twin 20mm AA gum mounts

Fuel Capacities
NSFO 22,650 Bbls
Diesel 700 Bbls

Propulsion
one General Electric Geared turbine
two Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
double General Electric Main Reduction Gears
Ship's Service Generators
three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
one Diesel-drive 100Kw 450V A.C.
single propeller, 6,000shp


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For Full Size Image
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By
USN_Units 19k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
Mt McKinley (AGC-7) Veteran.Net Web Site
USN_Units 99k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
Russ Padden
USN_Units 128k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, date and location unknown.
Photo from USS Lanier (APA-125) Cruise Book, 1944-46.
Russ Padden
USN_Units 48k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored to a buoy at Sasebo, Japan, circa 1945.
Photo by LTjg, Joseph A. Fernandez, Jr. USS Schmitt (APD-76)
Peter Fernandez
USN_Units 495k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored to the pier opposite USS Vincennes (CL-64) at Navy Yard Mare Island, 7 August 1945, circa 7 July to 29 August 1945.
Navy Yard Mare Island photo # 5830-45
Darryl Baker
USN_Units
AGC 7 6181-45, Navy Photo, 8/24/45
286k File name: AGC 7 6181-45, Navy Photo, 8/24/45
Stern view of USS Mount McKinley (AGC 7) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 24 August 1945.
File name: AGC 7 6184-45, Navy Photo, 8/24/45
View of the bow area of USS Mount McKinley (AGC 7) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 24 August 1945. White circles show modification made during her overhaul at the yard.
Darryl Baker
USN_Units
AGC 7 6184-45, Navy Photo, 8/24/45
325k
USN_Units 206k Amidships view of USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) at Mare Island Navy Yard, 24 August 1945. The big dish on her lattice mainmast is a long-range SK-2 air search radar; the smaller dish forward is an SP for height finding and fighter control. Note the HF whip antenna newly installed abaft her deckhouse. In the second photo note atop the bridge is a navigational range finder.
US Navy photos from "U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft: An Illustrated Design History" by Norman Friedman.
Robert Hurst
USN_Units 158k
USN_Units 107k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) emerging from a Mare Island refit, 25 August 1945. The two small radomes on the crossyard of her after goalposts are radar direction finders, which were used both as sensors and to support jamming.
US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, photo # 19-N-89212, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
Robert Hurst
USN_Units 84k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway in Sinclair Inlet off Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 21 August 1947
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard photo NY8-1135 now in the collections of the US National Archives Seattle Branch.
Tracy White
USN_Units 77k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway in Sinclair Inlet off Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., 21 August 1947
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard photo NY8-1136 now in the collections of the US National Archives Seattle Branch.
Tracy White
USN_Units 83k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
Mount McKinley (AGC-7) Veteran.Net web site
USN_Units 67k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
Hyperwar US Navy in World War II
USN_Units 41k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) at anchor, date and location unknown.
US Navy photo
Mt McKinley Association
USN_Units 105k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) anchored off Hungnam on 19 December 1950. LSU-637 is alongside Mount McKinley. USS Askari (ARL-30) is partially visible beyond Mount McKinley's bow.
US National Archives photo 80-G-424523, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
US Naval Historical Center
USN_Units 44k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) at anchor, date and location unknown. Bill Tennison
USN_Units 1551k USS Fremont (APA-44) and USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored at Genoa, Italy, 9 March 1954. Note the USS Telfair (APA-210) LCVP #1 in the foreground. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
USN_Units 100k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored pierside at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, HI., date unknown. Russ Padden
USN_Units 69k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored pierside at Patras Greece , April 1957. Walt Kuecks EN2 (A div.) USS Mount McKinley
USN_Units 271k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored at Genoa, Italy, 21 April 1957. Photo by Carlo Martinelli
USN_Units 76k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, circa 1957, location unknown.
Official US Navy photo.
Robert Hurst
USN_Units 368k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) underway, circa 1961, location unknown. Note helipad aft.
Official US Navy photo.
Robert Hurst
USN_Units 107k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) at anchor off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, in 1962 during Exercise PHIBLANTEX 1-62. Note the plethora of antennas on her masts. Each ship of this class developed over time a different configuration of antennas. The ship in the upper left is a MSTS Victory Class cargo ship.
US Navy photo # USN 1060456
Robert Hurst
USN_Units 105k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) moored pierside at San Diego, 5 February 1966 © Richard Leonhardt
USN_Units 91k USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) at right with left to right;
USS Intrepid (CVS-11),
USS Agerholm (DD-826) and
USS Porterfield (DD-682), at Hong Kong, BCC, July 1967.
Photo by Larry Backus USS Bausell